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Woman gives divorce notice via Facebook

Obtaining a divorce in Texas is not as easy sending a spouse a message on Facebook and changing one's relationship status, but some people have been allowed to use the popular social media site as a way to give someone else legal notice. However, one must go through official channels and have proof of his or her efforts before judges in some states allow one to serve papers through Facebook.

A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice gave a nurse residing in Brooklyn permission to use Facebook when seeking to dissolve her marriage after the woman exhausted other means of trying to find and contact her husband like email, phone, a motor vehicle search and the use of a private detective. A judge ruled that she could electronically send divorce papers via a Facebook message since the woman was able to prove she tried to contact her husband in more conventional ways. The woman also knew her husband used and checked Facebook regularly.

Similarly, a Staten Island man was able to give his ex-wife notice that he wanted a child support modification through Facebook in September 2014. He also tried other options and knew his ex used the site. At the moment, this means of contacting a spouse or ex about legal issues can generally only be used in extreme circumstances and not in every state.

While more states might eventually allow one partner to use Facebook as a means for delivering legal messages in the future, not all divorce proceedings could be settled electronically. Many couples must come to an agreement concerning issues like child custody, alimony or property division, and a lawyer might be necessary when one wants to avoid court intervention.

Source: Mashable, "Divorce notice by Facebook? Doable, but it depends on where you live," JP Mangalindan, April 7, 2015

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